Much as I love shopping at the farmers market and natural foods stores, I sometimes cannot resist the lure of the big box store. Although in my small household it doesn't make sense to buy a lot of items in bulk at Costco, there are a few things I go for. Case in point, where else can you buy ginormous bottles of capers like the one below? I often express my love for these salty little bites and I put them in everything from my tuna salad sandwich to my spaghetti sauce and everything in between, making those tiny little bottles you normally see both impractical and expensive. (This supersized one was under $6.00 and trust me, I will use it up!) Of course there was room in the cart and budget for Giada's new cookbook, "Giada At Home"--which contained the perfect recipe to use up some of those capers; her Smoked Salmon and Apple Carpaccio. It might sound odd to some, combining smoked fish with tart green apples and salty capers, but I had a feeling I was going to like this dish and I was right. It is a quick and simple appetizer (or pupu as we call them here), that has a wonderful combination of flavors and textures.
This recipe can be found both in "Giada At Home" (pg 32-33) and at the Food Network site here.
Giada says, "When I go to a restaurant and want something light, I immediately look to the carpaccios and crudos, which often feature marinated raw fish. Smoked salmon can deliver the same light, clean flavors but without the worry of serving raw beef or fish at home. I like to arrange the salmon and apples on a platter and let guests pile them onto slices of bread themselves; the color of the salmon is simply stunning next to the green apples, which also contribute crunch and freshness."
Smoked Salmon and Apple Carpaccio
Giada De Laurentiis
(Makes 4-6 Servings)
6 (1/4-inch thick) slices rosemary or olive bread, quartered
6 ounces Nova Scotia smoked salmon
1 small green apple, such as Granny Smith, halved and cut into very thin slices
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the bread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly brown and crisp. Cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
Arrange the smoked salmon in a single layer on a serving platter. Lay the apple slices on top. Sprinkle the capers over the salmon and apple slices. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with the toasted bread.
*Note: To prevent the apples from browning, in a small bowl combine 2 cups water with the juice of 1 lemon. Add the apple slices and soak until ready to use. Drain and blot with paper towels just before using.
Notes/Results: Excellent! This is a light and tasty snack, appetizer or even part of a light dinner with a salad or a bowl of soup. If you like the three main components separately, I bet you will like this combination. It isn't something I would ever think to put together, salmon and capers pair well of course, but adding the wild card green apple really works. The only thing I did differently was to leave my soft, gorgeous, still warm bakery olive filone un-toasted--it was just too perfectly soft and chewy not to. Low effort, pretty to look at, big taste, I will make this again.
Happy Earth Day! (Guess I should have posted something green!)